Posts in Category: Maine

Swallowtail

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The Swallowtail lites in the top
most branches of the minature
apple tree in our yard

and hangs, exotic fruit,
early ripened. If I reach to pick
the Swallowtail will be off,
making its erratic way
to its next perch, fluttering,
always just beyond my fingertips.

Only the heart is equipped,
is agile enough,
to pick such fruit.

They’re Back!

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Sometime in the wee hours
the migration broke over
Southern Maine like a wave…
not in a trickle but a flood,
as though somewhere south
a dam had broken.

Yesterday the yard belonged
to the winter shift…
chickadees and titmice,
the occasional Downy Woodpecker,
and the ever-present squirrels…

This morning there are Juncos by the hundreds,
Song Sparrows by the tens, a gaggle
of Grackles, a Cardinal or two,
and even my one-a-year Fox Sparrow
shuffling last year’s maple leaves
where they pile under the Pines,
resting a moment with us
on its way north to breed.

I will admit to having my moments of doubt
in the last month or so, but it is looking
like we will all live to see
another spring in Maine.

Held Over

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Winter has held on,
here in Southern Maine,
way past it’s welcome.

We are marching fast
into the final week in March
and snow and ice still clog the marsh.

Returning birds, expecting buds and bugs,
find cold comfort in a February landscape
and flock to backyard feeders.

And the marsh, normally alive
with bird-song by now,
languishes silent despite
the promise of the spring sun.

Steampunk Psychedelic

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Like a steampunk psychedelic mashup
the Claw-tipped Emerald
hangs among the bright red berries:
it’s hydolic strutted wings fragile
with power, it’s jeweled body,
werewolf haired in all the wrong places,
rests unlikely, caught between
absolute form and ultimate function,
between strange beauty
and industrial design,
it bends the mind like a…
like a…
psychedelic steampunk collision.

Bold

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“Bold as a chickadee!”
ought to be a cliché:

the very definition of boldness
without backup, without good cause,
without substantial reason, unless,
of course, you count cute.

(I do.)

March Winter

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It is March
and winter is lingering long
on the marshes by the Mousam,
making slow work of leaving,
frustrating spring migrants
and long-suffering Mariners alike.

What can you do?

It is winters like this one
that make Mariners stoic…
or, what is probably better sense,
migrants in their own right.

Eagle Pair

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The Eagles sit
at the bend of the Mousam,
at the end of the rapids,
just where the ice closes in.

I sort my feelings,
such a complex
of patriotism
and knowledge of
the nature of the bird…
of awe of the predator,
and awareness of the scavenger…

It is complicated…
not the Eagle itself,
singular and self-sufficient,
full of pure eagleness…
but all the stuff we have
piled on the image of the bird.

I breathe it all out,
breathe in the essence
of Eagle sitting at the ice edge…

take my shot
and hope to catch
only eagleness.

Uncommon Crow

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How often do you see
the silvery feather bases
on the nape and shoulders
of the common crow?

Like it has another bird
altogether hidden under there.

Not unlike some people
I think I know,
thought I knew,
until the wind blew
hard enough to ruffle
their neck feathers.

Tundra Dreams?

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The first year Snowy Owl
that is wintering
in the marsh behind the dunes
at our local beach, sits often
at the tip most top
of a three-story pine
on the landward side,
surveying her acres
of open fields, marsh,
the wide mouth of the Mousam River,
and the bit of beach and open ocean
she can see over the dunes.

I have a feeling the treeless tundra
of her far north home
and breeding ground
is going to strike her
as awfully flat.

Do you suppose her summer sleep
will be disturbed by owlish dreams
(if there be such)
full of the piney heights
of her winter in Maine?

Winter Meets the Sea

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We live, they say,
in temperate latitudes,
where snowstorms cloud the beach
and barnicles on shells,
empty crabs, twists of sea-moss
and seaweed candelabras
play Eskimo tag where
the tide tossed sand,
covers the toes of the snow.

And they call that temperate!